LONDON GRAMMAR: Truth is a Beautiful Thing

8/10 Tru dat.
In a grim month that has seen the UK capital knocked for six by a slew of terror attacks and one of the worst tower block fire disasters in memory, there’s been little to rejoice about coming out of London. If ever there was a voice that could at least bring some hope to the horror it would be London Grammar singer Hannah Reid’s heartfelt, exquisite soprano. Amidst the misery of recent events like Grenfell, there’s the feeling that Reid’s voice – and indeed the songs she’s singing – could somehow help make our cruel world just a little less terrible.
“Here’s to the things you love/here’s to the best of us” she sings on ‘Hell To The Liars’– a classic LG blueprint of simmering slow-build piano chords, winding up at the end into euphoric strings and a defiant refrain that leave you breathless for more.
Behind the enthralling vocals, multi-instrumentalist Dot Rothman and guitarist Dan Major do a fine job of crafting a beautifully layered, rich soundscape of soft pianos, gentle synths and subdued percussion that is never in competition with the lyrics. The sparing arrangements give Reid plenty of space to shine, and shine she does – perhaps best exemplified on the album’s mesmerizing centerpiece ‘Bones of Ribbon’, and the haunting ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’.
2013’s much-hyped debut ‘If You Wait’ was that rare thing; an album that actually lived up to the furore with it’s post-Zero 7 trip-hop trappings and icy-cool veneer. While ‘Truth is a Beautiful Thing’ doesn’t really change the game plan, it is undoubtedly a sure-footed progression for the young trio.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:

Zero 7 – Simple Things
Milestone effort that took electronica mainstream.

Submotion Orchestra – Finest Hour
Soulful ambience from Leeds electronica collective.

The xx – Coexist
London-based electronic trio on glum second outing.

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